By Katie Graham
On Thursday, Governor Branstad signed legislation prohibiting county and local governments from raising the minimum wage beyond Iowa’s state minimum of $7.25.
Three counties: Linn, Johnson, and Wapello have already enacted ordinances which will now be preempted. Polk and Lee counties had legislation ready to take effect which will no longer go into effect.
The legislation is intended to provide uniformity and alleviate confusion for employers throughout the state of Iowa. Many employers may breathe a sigh of relief as they no longer have to deal with difficult payroll issues such as compensation for employees who regularly cross county lines as part of their employment. Some employers have already taken steps to increase their minimum wage and now will be faced with the decision of whether to keep the changes they have already implemented. Nothing in the new legislation prohibits an employer from maintaining a wage increase that they have already implemented.